Cashel to Blarney

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In Cashel, I was inspired to write. I’ve been writing a memoir for over a year and it’s been a very slow process, but surrounded by a castle, a ruined abbey, and green rolling hills, the words flowed easily from my pen and I spent several days hunkered down in my tent writing until hunger, thirst, mother nature and ultimately, the call of the open road beckoned.

In Ballylooby, I enjoyed a night at the Kilcoran Lodge Hotel. There I met Christine, an Irish American woman from New York. She was in Ireland visiting family and tending to the family home. She was incredibly engaging, and having spent the past several days in relative solitude, I relished the good conversation that continued long past midnight. In the morning, I packed up and walked towards Mitchelstown. Bernie, a woman I had met at the hotel, contacted the local radio station, Tipp FM, and as I entered the village of Mitchelstown, I was approached by Tipp FM producer, Ben Sweeney. He walked about a mile with me, while pulling my cart. We were soon met by two garda, John and Morris. After a few photos, he concluded his interview and we parted ways.

The next two days, Storm Callum brought lots of rain as I made my way toward Cork, but on Saturday, I woke to a beautiful, sunshiny day. I was grateful for the good weather, but the road to Blarney was a continuous climb. One hill followed by another, and there appeared to be no end in sight. During the last couple miles, my legs had become like JELL-O. I struggled as I pulled Magellan up the hill. I was halfway up when a woman stopped her car to ask me what I was doing. My legs quivered as I stood on the steep incline, clenching onto the handles of my cart, worried my legs were going to collapse from fatigue. Then, her husband Michael, gets out the car, and pulls Magellan the last half mile to the top of road. I was absolutely giddy. :)

After setting up my tent I was visited by a warm, affectionate cat. It was a chilly night, so the two of us shared a sleeping bag until morning.

I will stay in Blarney for a few days to explore the area, and with a little bit of luck, and a kiss of the Blarney stone, I will be endowed with the gift of gab.